Things You Didn't Know About Oprah's Boyfriend

Millions of people around the world adore Oprah Winfrey; between her inspirational rise to fame and her generous spirit, what's not to love? But there is a particular someone who is clearly her number one fan: longtime boyfriend Stedman Graham. Though the couple has been together for decades, chances are the man is still a mystery to you. Don't worry. Here's what you need to know.

He and Winfrey will probably never get married

Graham and Winfrey may be in love, but that's not going to push them down the aisle anytime soon. Of course, this wasn't always the case. Graham reportedly proposed to Winfrey in 1992, after some six years together. While Winfrey initially said yes, the couple reportedly put their wedding on hold about a year later, according to E! News. "The moment he asked me to marry him I was like: 'Oh God, now I actually have to get married?'" Winfrey later recalled during a 2015 episode of Super Soul Sunday (via E! News). "What I realized is, I don't want to be married, because I could not have the life that I created for myself. I couldn't do it."

"If you ever interviewed him, he would tell you that had we married, we would not be together today," Winfrey added to Lorraine (via E! News). "Because he's a traditional man and this is a very untraditional relationship. I think it's acceptable as a relationship, but if I had the title 'wife,' I think there would be other expectations for what a wife is and what a wife does."

He's taller than you'd think

Graham's no shorty. Winfrey's beau towers at 6-feet-6-inches—quite a difference compared to the talk show host's 5-foot-7-inch frame. He used his height to his advantage in his youth, snagging a basketball scholarship from Hardin-Simmons University and later playing professional basketball for the European Basketball League in the '70s. Of course, being so tall also has a few disadvantages. According to Winfrey's BFF Gayle King, poor Graham couldn't join in on Oprah's 2016 holiday jammy jam because he was too tall to fit in the squad's matching Christmas onesies.

He's authored two best sellers

With a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree in education, it's no wonder Graham has authored several self-help and business books. Overall, he's written 11 books; two of them, You Can Make It Happen: A Nine-Step Plan for Success and Teens Can Make It Happen: Nine Steps to Success, made the New York Times Best Sellers list, according to his website.

In an interview with Forbes regarding his 2012 book Identity –– Your Passport to Success, Graham addressed what makes a person successful, a popular theme in all of his self-help books. "A vision of the future must become daily goals and habits," he said. But he realizes such a mindset isn't easy to achieve. After struggling with his own identity for decades, he's come to understand that life is one long learning process, but with a little direction, people can find themselves—and reach their goals—more quickly. Graham aims to a guiding force through his books. "My hope is to show people how to build value in their own lives," he told Forbes.

He's a motivational speaker

Winfrey's not the only inspiring one in the relationship. Graham has become something of an expert on self-identity, traveling around the world speaking to corporations and schools about discovering who you really are. According to Forbes, Graham is all about evolving from a follower into a leader, coming into your own strengths, and developing yourself through your passions. "The only thing you're fighting against is time," Graham said. "...The first step is you must identify who you are and have clarity about it. You must then take control of your own future. Everyone is equal in this process. We all have 24 hours in a day."

He has a daughter from a previous marriage

Winfrey's main man married a woman named Glenda in 1974, according to the Daily Mail. Shortly thereafter, the couple had a daughter, Wendy. In 2015, Wendy welcomed a child of her own, daughter Cadence, with her Trinidadian husband Bradley Kerwin Greene, according to the report.

Graham went on to date FOX 32 News anchor Robin Robinson for three years in the 1980s. Speaking to Anderson Cooper in 2013, Robinson described why her relationship with Winfrey's main man didn't work out. "He is a great guy but I was very certain that I wanted to get married and have kids and I was in my early thirties and he was not moving fast enough," she said (via the Daily Mail). Waiting a long time to settle down? That certainly does sound like Graham.

He's a philanthropist

Graham founded the nonprofit organization Athletes Against Drugs in 1985, headquartered in Chicago. According to People, AAD connects professional athletes with neighborhood children in an effort to promote drug awareness and the dangers of substance abuse. "Being in this business for 25 years has taught us that it's not about the drugs but about providing positive choices, keeping yourself active and keeping yourself busy with activities, the proper curriculum, and special events like taking kids to games," he told The Skanner in 2010. "That's how you keep our youth off drugs." Graham is also on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Chicago, a nonprofit that aims to implement new educational programs into the city's schools.

He served in the military

According to the El Paso Times, Graham served five years in the army during the 1970s, an experience he says changed his life. "I was a basketball player at Hardin-Simmons University ... but I had no clue who I was as an individual," he said. "The Army gave me some structure, helped me organize my life and taught me how to scrub floors, wash pots, KP (kitchen patrol), all those things necessary to build character, create a work ethic, a can-do attitude, perseverance, dedication."

After he left the army, he said he "realized you could put all those things you learn in the Army and develop your mind, the ability to sustain yourself and stay on a project without quitting."

Graham respects Winfrey's relationship with King

Winfrey's been friends with Gayle King, the current co-anchor of CBS This Morning, for four decades—or 10 years longer than she's been with Graham. But while the women are just close friends, they've had to endure rumors alleging that their relationship being much more than friendly. "I understand why people think we're gay," Oprah said in a 2006 interview with her own publication, O, The Oprah Magazine. "There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it—how can you be this close without it being sexual? How else can you explain a level of intimacy where someone always loves you, always respects you, admires you?"

Certainly such a friendship must be intimidating, but Graham accepts if for what it is—and what's more, he even encourages it. In a video on Winfrey's own website, Graham addresses the longtime friendship between Winfrey and King. "It makes my life easier because I know that Oprah is talking with someone who cares about her, who she can trust," he explained. A man who understands the value of female friendships? That's a keeper.

He's not going anywhere

While he may not have put a ring on it, we doubt Graham will ever leave Winfrey's side. After all, if you and your partner have been together for more than 30 years, you must be doing something right. "I'm not threatened by her fame or her success or her money or all of that," Graham shared in a behind-the-scenes clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show. "That's who she is. It doesn't have anything to do with how I define myself."

And while most billionaires would surely be suspicious of any relationship, Winfrey knows that Graham's not like other men. According to People, she's explained, "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo. But you want someone who'll help you catch the bus." We're sure that Graham would ride with her anyway and anywhere. Here's to hoping we all find a love like theirs.